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Q. I’ve lost my instructions!
A. Fudge mix is all made the same way – you will see that the front of each bag says “use x teaspoons of water”. Typically vanilla mixes use 6tsp, caramel 7tsp and chocolate 8tsp. Each mix also requires 30g of butter. All you need to do is melt the butter and water together in the microwave in a mixing bowl. After this, add your chosen bag of fudge mix and stir well. Pop the mixture into the microwave for 30 seconds, stir well again. Return to the microwave for a further 30 second burst and give it another good mix. Be careful, it will be getting a bit hot. By now it should be smooth enough to poor into a liner and tray. At this point, add any inclusions, colours, flavours sweets, fruits, nuts etc before pouring out!
Q. I don’t have a microwave!
A. No microwave, no problem! Simply heat the butter and water on a low heat in saucepan. Add your mix and consistently stir over low heat until the fudge is smooth. The result will be the same. Just be careful not to let your fudge get too hot as it can split. Remove from the heat occasionally whilst stirring if needed.
Q. My Microwave is a lower or higher power – what do I do?
A. If you have a different power microwave to that which is mentioned in this booklet, do not worry. For lower power microwaves you may have to give the mix an additional 20 second burst to ensure the mixture is smooth. For a higher power microwave, it may need 20 seconds less. So long as you do not boil or burn the fudge it will be fine!
Q. Some of the mixes have lumps in – is that OK?
A. Do not be alarmed if the mixes have lumps of sugar in. These sometimes form as the mix is packed and can be easily broken up with a fork. The chocolate mixes contain chocolate drops which can be mistaken for lumps but don’t worry – these will melt.
Q. Does it matter if I use salted butter?
A. For all recipes use salted or unsalted butter.
Q. Can I use vegetable fats?
A. Do NOT vegetable fat or blended butters. These do not behave the same as butter.
Q. I want to store the fudge – how do I wrap it?
A. Do not seal the fudge in an airtight container! There are no preservatives in the fudge mix and the fudge could grow a mould if it is sealed from the air completely. It is happiest loosely wrapped in parchment or a cake tin is a good option too. If you would like to look at using a preservative – perhaps you want to make a lot of fudge – get in touch and we can help.
Q. Can I make a softer or harder fudge?
A. The water content on the front of the bag makes a nice texture of fudge but if you prefer it softer add an extra teaspoon of water. If you prefer it a bit crumblier, go with 1 teaspoon less or let the fudge sit and dry out for day. Some people particularly prefer the caramel fudge a bit more crumbly.
Q. My fudge has dried out – can I re-use it?
A. You should never need to throw this fudge away. Even if it dries out over time, simply cut it up and put it in the microwave on a gentle heat for 30 seconds at a time, stir it every time you remove it from the microwave and repeat this process until it is smooth. If the fudge was very hard, you should add an extra teaspoon or of water for every 400g of fudge.
Q. Can I put the fudge in a gift bag?
A. The short answer is yes, however there are things to consider. The fudge dries out quicker the smaller you cut it. If it is tightly sealed in a cellophane gift bag, it can go a sticky. We would recommend bagging up your fudge as late as you can before giving it away. This is a fresh product after all.
Q. How do I box the fudge for a gift?
A. If you are cutting the fudge and putting it in one of our gift boxes, you should line the box first with a piece of baking parchment paper so that the fudge does not stain the box or get stuck to the bottom. It will remain very happy loosely wrapped in this for a couple of weeks or more.
Q. Does fudge need to be refrigerated?
A. The fudge is best served at room temperature, it can go sticky in the fridge.
Q. Is the fudge gluten free?
A. All basic fudge mixes (vanilla, caramel, salted caramel, strawberry, chocolate) are gluten free. Fudge Pie Mix is also gluten free. Mixes containing inclusions such as honeycomb or toffee pieces may contain traces of gluten.
Q. When should I make my fudge and how long will it keep?
A. Fudge made with Calico mixes simply dries out over time and becomes harder. How long the fudge lasts depends on how much water you use when making it, how hot the mix gets in the microwave and whether you like hard or soft fudge. We would suggest that you do not make it much more than a couple of weeks before you want to box it and it is best consumed within a week or so after boxing. Equally you could make it today, box it tomorrow and it would remain fine for three weeks quite comfortably. If you are bagging the fudge as a gift, make the fudge up to two weeks in advance and bag it a day or so before giving the gift. Don’t seal the bags too tightly. Having said all that, if you leave fudge in a box for six weeks, it would still be perfectly edible – it just may not taste as great but we do have people who prefer it like this, especially the caramel! If you know you need a few more weeks shelf life, you can always add an extra teaspoon of water when making the fudge – this will allow it to dry out over a longer period of time – perhaps giving it an extra couple of weeks before drying out.